A Great 2013, Ending With A Crappy CeCe Caldwell Ultimatum, But We Will Persevere!

I hope everyone took a little break, to settle back and enjoy the presence of the season….

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I’m so last minute –  shopping, planning, wrapping, table setting –  this year I was the host for our family gathering.  Once the last day of work ended I  TUNED OUT work and shifted my focus to home life.

 Thank you God, for all your good blessings…

Unfortunately, we received a spirit dampening phone call from CeCe Caldwell  earlier this month –  one of our clay/mineral/chalk based paint suppliers.

In a nutshell, the phone call:

“So sorry but you gotta choose –  us or them  (any ‘like product or competitor”  must go) – you have until Dec 15th to decide…

Let me back up and explain – In the beginning, CeCe Caldwell set herself apart from other companies, by not forcing EXCLUSIVITY on their retailers –

“… we would never tell you that you cannot carry other brands or lines. “

It worked like this –

Hey, we’d love you to have you carry only our kind of paints/finishes, and if you do we’ll give you an exclusive territory.     IF you choose to carry other, similar, products/finishes  you will NOT have an exclusive territory  BUT you can still sell the CeCe Caldwell’s Paints and we  hope that you will continue to do so.

So, whats this  “So sorry but you gotta choose –  us or them  (any ‘like product or competitor”  must go) – you have until Dec 15th to decide…  mean?

Well, now they are demanding EXCLUSIVITY from their retailers.  For Fabulous Finishes Studio that means keep CeCe Caldwell but get rid of  American Paint Company,  and get rid of Beautiful (a line of topcoats/finishes).  They claim Caromal Colours is  ‘okay’.  Really?  For how long?  Until you decide, months from now, that they are also a threat to you?

Sprinkle Some Glitter

I was floored…   I’ve been on board with CeCe since early times. I’ve helped market and promote their products, blogging, video’ing, teaching ….  I’ve sold big for them, and even when I brought on American Paint Company in April, my sales did not decline one penny.   So why this sudden ultimatum?    You are requiring your retailers to ONLY carry your products?  No competing ‘like’ products, no competing topcoats, waxes, glazes?

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They didn’t offer much of a reason – other than  ‘customers are confused’.   At what?  Options?  Different waxes or topcoats? Differences in paint?   We answer questions all the time –  I wouldn’t describe our customers, or those inquiring as ‘confused’,  instead I’d say they want to be educated –  ‘what is this?’ what is that?’ what is the difference?’

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IS that so bad?

“So sorry but you gotta choose –  us or them  (any ‘like product or competitor”  must go) – you have until Dec 15th to decide…

I was going to just make my  decision, and move forward, whats done is done,  water under the bridge, blah blah blah ….but  I feel I owe a truthful explanation to my customers and readers – as to why I chose to end my retail relationship with CeCeCaldwell.

#1)  I don’t like EXCLUSIVITY.  Not in this business.    My career in paints and finishes started years ago with Faux Effects, a great line of professional faux finishing products.  Their retailers were forced to be exclusive.   I walked away from that first week of training, believing that Faux Effects was the do all end all in faux finishing products – the ONLY products that would allow me to create that ultimate finish.

A year later I decided to attend a decorative products convention in Chicago.  There I was introduced to  more manufacturers than I can remember –  I felt like a kid in a candy store!   It was freeing,  and exciting,  seeing other products, other possibilities….   it didn’t mean I was DITCHING Faux Effects –  they had some excellent products, and those I NEVER wavered from  –  buy I appreciated options, and if another product line had a better ‘option’  then I’d grab it.

Head into a Home Depot or Lowes, and ask something simple like ‘ whats the best topcoat for a painted floor?’  – and they’ll tell you.  They’ve got many brands/products to choose from, but they’ll give you their educated answer of what they prefer and why.

That is me.   That is true to me.   Honesty.  Guidance. Direction.  Helping a homeowner get from A to B the easiest way, with the best results.

Fabulous Finishes carries a number of product lines – Caromal Colours,  CeCe Caldwell, American Paint Company,  Beautiful…  Some customers order only CeCe products – some only APC – they know what they like, and that’s perfect, and easy for us.   Others may decide they want to try something different, it might be a color,  a texture,  it might be different topcoat – it might be that they want to re-create a finish that they saw in our store  – we’ve got those folks covered too.

EXCLUSIVITY serves CeCe Caldwell, not the customer.

#2) I can’t promote products I don’t believe in. 

I had to decide which products I could go the long haul with  –  CeCe Caldwell or American Paint.    The paints, to me,  are similar enough –   both zero voc, all natural, with a mineral clay and chalk base – which I prefer.  CeCe adds a ‘secret ingredient’ to thin it down,  American keeps their formula unaltered (if I want it thinned down I add my own water 🙂 ) .  A good number of colors are dead ringers for each other

AMERICAN PAINT CO     :   CE CE CALDWELL

UNCLE SAM  :   SIMPLY WHITE

HOME PLATE   :   VINTAGE WHITE

SMOKE SIGNAL :  SEATTLE MIST

FREEDOM ROAD   :   PITTSBURGH GRAY

WILD HORSES  : VIRGINIA CHESTNUT

RUSHMORE  :  YOUNG KANSAS WHEAT

AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN  : CALIFORNIA GOLD

BEACH GLASS : DESTIN GULF

NATIONAL FOREST  :  MICHIGAN PINE

DOLLAR BILL :   SMOKEY MOUNTAIN GRAY

DESERT CACTUS  : CINCO BAYOU MOSS

CANNON BALL  :  BECKLEY COAL

The rest of the colors of each line are unique.    Having used CeCe paints for 2 years,  I was more accustomed to their paint color palette, as were my customers.     I would have said the company with the edge on colors liked was CeCe – except several things happened-

  • CeCe discontinued  Texas Prairie.  And Portland Rose.  And Mesa Sunset. And Mississippi Mud.   Those were some of my favorites….
  • and American Paint Company introduced 12 new European inspired colors, in  The Ellis Collection –

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Crushed Tea, Waistcoat, Peacock, and Voyage are intoxicating…  Leather Boots is FINALLY a real brown…..   Limoges, watered down, is my previous favorite CeCe Dover White.   Cameo is the softest, palest perfect pink,  even better than my much loved discontinued CeCe Portland Rose – because its truly pale pink, no touch of peach.

So PAINT wise,  both lines would be my  choice if I was looking to use the chalk/clay/mineral base DIY  easy paints – they both deliver with with a clay mineral chalk base, and are both ALL green with ZERO voc’s.   Colors – well I reviewed that above, but as of now APC has more colors at the top of my ‘go to’  list.    I could, and would have, still promoted them both – equally.

The FINISHES, on the other hand, are a different story.  The FINISHES  are what made my decision to move forward with American Paint an easy one…

When CeCe Caldwell debuted,  they offered the Clear Wax, a Dark Aging Wax (now called Aging Creme) and Satin Finish (a non wax topcoat option).    In early 2013 they changed where they were getting their supply.  Ever since,  the Clear Wax and Satin Finish have been, it seems,  less available.   To combat this, CeCe came up other topcoat options to offer –  Waxing Creme and the Endurance Finish (a non wax LOW VOC topcoat option).

American Paint Company hit the market in Spring 2013.   Their FINISHES lineup included  a Vintage Clear Wax,  Vintage Dark Wax,  and Topcoat Finish (a non wax topcoat option).

This is how I explain the finishes:

  • CeCe’s original Clear Wax is the same wax as American Paint Company’s Vintage Clear Wax.   Same wax different label.  It makes sense,  APC’s parent company was CeCe’s original supply chain.    IMO its the best all natural wax on the market.  I promoted both equally – it has no smell, glides on freely,  dries fast, and buffs to a lovely sheen.      For me,  I can’t use these paints without having one of these waxes.
  • CeCe’s Waxing Creme  is their newer wax.    I am not a fan of this wax, I dont care for the smell, I don’t find it as easy to use, and even though its deemed ‘natural’  I feel like its not.    I know – there are people writing reviews on how they LOVE the waxing creme,  how they think its BETTER than the original Clear Wax …     which of those reviews ARENT from a CeCe Retailer?   Is THIS the wax that is forefront, because CeCe’s Clear Wax will soon be phased out?   I was actually told  I WAS PROBABLY NOT NOT USING THIS WAX PROPERLY, IF I KNEW HOW TO USE IT  RIGHT,   I’D LOVE IT…    Seriously?   Let’s put my skill level of finishing, and product education up against yours, and decide who is more apt to know HOW to apply a wax to a paint finish.
  • CeCe’s Dark Aging Creme , is nothing like American’s Vintage Dark Wax.   CeCe’s  Dark Aging Creme is an altered version of the Clear Wax ( Olive Oil is added, not sure what else) but  it doesn’t dry completely,  it doesn’t buff to as shiny a wax sheen. We’ve had user complaints from it. I haven’t been a fan since day 1.   American Paint Co’s Vintage Dark Wax -it’s JUST like the Clear Wax, only with tint added…   it dries quick, and buffs to a nice sheen, JUST like the Clear Wax, only its tinted.    Winner,  APC,  hands down.
  • CeCe’s Satin Finish  is like American Paint Company’s Topcoat Finish,  only APC’s Topcoat Finish is better.  They both are great all natural EASY options to waxing, offering a hard topcoat when it cures.  I never used the Satin Finish full strength – it was too thick for my liking,  but you were allowed to dilute it, and dilute it I did.  My customers loved the Satin Finish (which I think is also on it’s way out…)      American’s Topcoat Finish came on board and went viral.  It was literally like brushing on water.  There was no need to water it down, to lessen the thickness – it was perfectly easy right out of the container.    Not diluting it meant another thing – it was more durable than the Satin Finish.     End result?  If I have APC Topcoat I use that, if I’m out I’ll use CeCe Satin Finish.   Both are great all natural topcoat options for absorbent paints.
  • CeCe Caldwell Endurance Finish – an alternative To Satin Finish, that isn’t  all natural zero voc.   To be honest, I haven’t put much time and effort  into using it – there are so many ”low voc’ topcoat options (Beautiful offers a good selection) – I prefer the all natural options.   I prefer EASY.  Brush on. Dry. Brush on again.   The Endurance label is daunting:

Up to six layers can be used for the ultimate protection of a surface. To apply, always work in the direction of the grain, using a foam brush, staining pad or high quality synthetic brush. Apply thin, even layers. Allow each layer to dry completely prior to application of the next layer. After every second layer, lightly sand with a very fine sandpaper or piece of brown kraft paper. Burnish your final coat with a piece of brown kraft paper (a grocery bag is great, low cost source of kraft paper, but use unprinted side). Use 4-6 layers on surfaces such as a the tops of a family dining table, coffee table or end table.

You lost me after ‘six layers’.

So, back to the  #2) I can’t promote products I don’t believe in.

If I chose to stay with CeCaldwell,  I’d be fine promoting the paints.  Even if I knew for certain they were keeping the Clear Wax and Satin Finish.  But my gut tells me those 2 products aren’t going to be around for long.    So……

could I confidently retail CeCe Paints and ‘Waxing Creme and ‘Endurance Finish’ and ‘Dark Aging Creme’ as my only topcoat options?

Nope.

I move forward, with American Paint Company, and Caromal Colours, and Beautiful –  a fabulous  mix of colors,textures,  ultimate finish options…  2014 will be a fun ride – we’re creating interest, and excitement, and I’m honored to be a part of that.

I wish all my CeCe Caldwell customers the best –   we all are entitled to our own opinions, and I realize that some are dedicated to 100% CeCe Caldwell.  Hopefully if you are one of them,  PLEASE  take advantage of our CECE CALDWELL PRODUCTS SALES –  discounting it all until its gone. (check our online store for full options)

Best Wishes for a Creative 2014!  Happy Painting!

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we’ve got a great variety of paints to fit your EVERY need!

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57 responses to “A Great 2013, Ending With A Crappy CeCe Caldwell Ultimatum, But We Will Persevere!

  1. WOW!!!! Loaded! You just helped steer me in the direction i needed to go. Thx for keeping it real!!!!!!!!

  2. I’m so sorry they forced your hand like this, Patty. Seems pretty foolish on their part especially since you mentioned that your numbers didn’t drop when you took on APC, etc.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Bravo Patty! I have to agree with you 100%. Really, it is their loss. All the awesome tutorials, the sales, etc. Someone at the top is just following orders…..

  4. Bravo … I learned the lesson last year … just took a little longer for everyone to catch up! You are wonderful!

  5. Thanks Patty! I was a new user to CeCe products, but loved a lot of APC colors for certain projects. Well it’s a no brainer, APC it is! I don’t think CeCe realize what your tutorials did for their business! Never in my decision making, did anyone sway me to buy one or the other! APC and Caromal are lucky to have you promote their products! You are making the best decision for your customers, that’s why you rock! May you have a great new year in your decision!

  6. Oh! So sorry for this! Sad after all the work you so exellent are doing to promote the products you are selling! What about APC then? Hope they don’t do the same thing in the future! What do you say: “Go girl/woman” !! 🙂 Happy new year!

  7. My post is half written, couldn’t have said it better myself ~ here’s to the most prosperous 2014!

  8. Thank you for your very informative explanation. This is a big mistake on the part of the CeCe management, it appears to me that they feel threatened by APC and think they will force suppliers to get rid of APC.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if they back down when they see the loss in sales –but the damage will be done.

  9. Hi,
    I have followed the chalk paint industry ( and tried several products) since their inception. I do not do this professionally, or sell any pieces. I used them on some personal furniture and a wedding arbor/ dessert bar for my business. With all the trouble Annie has stirred up in the past year or so with the Trademark and use issues, I am convinced that much of it stems from her being overseas and being out of touch with the American way of doing things. ( I will note she was successful in much of the enforcement of using her names) so she is not stupid, just not extremely sensitive. Now that I hear about this new rule of non competing with other lines of paint after carrying her products for years, I am convinced that her company will continue to be on the fringe of chaos moving forward. I agree with your assessment of the Ce Ce Products. I prefer American Paint Company as well. I have not tried the Caromel Colors yet, but hope to in the coming year.
    I would like to close with my support in making the choice you made.
    It was the right one, in my opinion.
    Heres to a successful 2014.
    Keep it up…
    Soul Sister 🙂

  10. Patty: you are the best! What a great job you did with “comparing and contrasting”! So informative! Happy New Year, MAINELY VINTAGE, Kennebunk, ME…Regional Retailer, APC

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  11. AWESOME! You are more impressive as a business woman, person an artist every time I’m around you. CeCe should have thought bigger, like you did! Congrats on a fantastic decision.

  12. I recently thought you might be leaving CeCe because you seldom talk about their products anymore. Reclaim or Carmel Colors, either. Who thought it’d be like this?

    Frankly, it’s nothing to me now that you’ve listed the matching colors. 🙂 I am ADDICTED to Young Kansas Wheat. It’s colors and advice, not brands that matter to me.

    You remain my go-to girl. You’re the 1st one I read online and who gave me the Umph to actually put brush to piece. When I have a question or want a review from someone who 1) actually works with many brands, and 2) has the experience behind the review to speak knowledgably, I come to you. None of these Try-One, Rave Forever painters. I know very little, but I already know I’ve used as many as 5 different brands on a piece.

    I think Americans align themselves with anything and rule out other options, simply because some have an innate need to have made the “right” choice. I experience this as 35 year yoga teacher. To many, one method is “right” the others “dangerous,” “uneducated,” or oddly enough, “wrong.” All yoga methods use the same poses (paint techniques) just in different ways for different reasons. No wrongs, just preferences.

    If I order, it’s from you. Yes, there are now local resources for all these products. If I need something right away, I’ll come here, read, than break down and actually kick myself, but buy locally, but it’d probably be a BM or SW matching color. Accessories? You. Finishes? You. Interesting techniques like lizard hide? You. Does this make me a paint stalker? So be it.

    Oh – you might want to take that post where you match CeCe colors to BM and update it: APC to BM or SW! 🙂 Just in case….

    In the meanwhile, Happy and Healthy New Year to you and all you love. Bests for a booming business and a world of painted furniture. You’ll see me pop in and out, no matter what brands move into the forefront. 🙂
    Christine
    Upper Marlboro, MD

  13. You go girl! Living true to one’s beliefs is so honorable. So refreshing to behold. This is America after all, the free market is the little engine that could. Happy New Year!

  14. Very informative, as always, Patty! You made the best business decision for your company and it will pay off I’m sure! I’ve wanted to try APC products for some time….Thank you!

  15. 1. May I borrow the pocketful of glitter quote, so long as I link to you? Perfection.
    2. Integrity means doing what’s right for the customer. You positively sparkle with it.

    Looking forward to seeing you continue to prosper through your generosity in the coming year!

  16. Patty, Definitely go with that pocketful of glitter! I am with you all the way!

  17. What a short-sighted decision for CeCe to make. What can they be thinking?

  18. Good for you, that is a ridiculous communication from them, and very short sighted. Obviously, they need new leadership. i.e. I sell patio furniture and would one of those manufacturers tell me I cannot sell others? Nooooooo. Again REE – DIC – U – LOUS. Let the best paint (and company culture) win !!! 🙂

  19. kathleen mcmillen

    Patty, I’m sorry you were even forced to have to think about this decision in America today… but I back your decision 100%.  I know I’m not your biggest buyer but I just had to thank you for deciding on ‘ free enterprise”!    Kathleen

     ‘Be who you are and say what you feel… Because those that matter… don’t mind… And those that mind… don’t matter.’ There are only 3 things that can make your dreams come true: your thoughts, your words, and your actions.                Kathleen…..        

  20. Thanks for this insightful article! We are looking into which line to best represent, with healthy options. Thank you!

  21. Cheers to a fabulous 2014. I always look forward to your posts. Thank you for shining some light and sharing your story. I agree, you should sell some packets of glitter. I’ll buy some! 🙂 Best, Jennifer of Ivy Lane

  22. Thank you, Everyone, for the nice response ❤ The glitter and sparkle links are attached to each photo – I can't take credit, just make sure you link to that link (though I love sparkles!!)

  23. Thank you for your insight. Changing the rules in the middle of the game is wrong

  24. It just occurred to me where CeCe might have gotten this idea: Home Depot has done it for years. Let us be your only distributor or we won’t carry you. Reverse pressure.
    I like the sparkle idea. Although sometimes I’m afraid I’d be a little glittery. I have my stupid moments.

  25. Lynette Augenstein

    Hello and Happy Holidays! Just wanted you to know that I appreciate your honesty about CeCe’s ultimatum. I would be interested in the discounted paints, but couldn’t access the link on your page. Looks like it’s not set up properly.

    Fyi – I will be probably be changing over as well. Don’t like her finishes at all, but still enjoy the paints.

    Happy New Year.

    Lynette

  26. let me go make sure that link works – we just updated the prices so should be good to go. We will honor those prices in store as well.

  27. Veritas ~ Aletheia

    And everyone should remember…. this is ‘one’ side to the story….

  28. I agree with you ! That’s just not right . I’ve been reading your blog for a bit until I’m ready to refinish many pieces come Spring . You are honest ,you are helpful …. It’s there loss , choices are good ! And I as a future customer have to rely on people in the Know with product experience … I trust YOU whose expertise uses,combines sometimes many different brands with stellar effects ..Thanks ! I trust your decision I don’t like non-completion agreements When it’s serving no one well as they usually do not .

    Penne’-Chere’ Holz

    >

  29. Welcome to the club! I left CeCe’s in August – having the same product reliability/useabiltiy issues AND the same kind of “corporate” decisions which made it much easier to leave CeCe. Good luck selling all your paints! I discounted mine down to 10 per quart and still wasn’t able to get them out. People love the APC paints and finishes 🙂

  30. Patty…a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!! Great analogy regarding decorative painting/faux finishing! Of ALL of the decorative/faux finishers I know, NOT ONE is exclusive to only one line of products and never crosses over OR uses products in combination. To me, THAT’S LIFE IN THE BIG CITY and it’s CeCe’s loss!!

    I have always loved Caromal Colors along with your other lines AND I will continue to purchase what YOU SELL because of your knowledge.

  31. Patti, I’d love to pick up some paint on clearance, but I only see the regular prices. Right now, that remains out of my budget.
    Thank you!

  32. Well I’m sorry to hear this. CeCe is one of our respected competitors and I don’t know why she would adopt this new policy. As an artist in the decorative field for over 15 years, I abhore the idea of having my hands tied behind my back or having anyone telling me what I can and can not use in my work. I would NEVER presume to tell anyone else what they can use or sell. We do have a few of our van Gogh Paintologists that sell competitive products. I always think that actually helps to sell our products! If we don’t have what you want, why shouldn’t you be able to offer the customer what they want? Every line has something to offer. Why should the consumer suffer, choice is everything we stand for isn’t it? You go girl – I support your right (and mine) to sell what you want and to use what you want.

  33. Huh? Christine? I swear we just updated it, let me go look again…

  34. Patty,
    How sad that a company feels they have to force their hand and prevent their retailers from carrying ‘like’ products. Ridiculous! You made the right decision in my opinion. You are a class act and so great at sharing your knowledge with the rest of us. Thank you and cheers to another successful year in 2014….I know it will be as great as you are!!

  35. A sad situation with no good end. Like biting your nose to spite your face. I feel sorry for any dealer (and I know several) that have taken out loans to buy and stock various brands of paint. What a financial hit. Its too bad to approach this from a position of scarcity vs. abundance when there is enough for all.

  36. I totally agree with you Patty, I have only been trying chalk paints or about 2 years now and ceces was the first I tried. I believe if you have a great product you have nothing to worry about with competition. In fact competition is good for everyone. Companies continue to develop their product and consumers end up with a superior product because of that competition driven development. That being said I also agree with others on here. I have come to trust your knowledge and opinion on all of these companies and their products. i believe many people value your input as well. I do think maybe The Lord made what could have been a hard decision for you easy because of the approach that was used. It sounds like their product quality may be going down anyway! I loved the paints just not the finishes . Thanks for your honesty! I could never agree with being given an ultimatum just out of principle! 🙂

  37. I quit using CeCeCaldwell when then pulled it from a small local store saying they had place a stocking order of &10,000. They apparently have forgotten the small businesses that put them on the map.
    As for competing brands…..isn’t Annie Sloan getting in trouble for demanding shops be exclusive to them. Somewhere, somehow I believe there are laws against it.
    I don’t use CeCe or AS because of their sales tactics. Thanks to them I was sent on a search to find alternative brands and guess what, they are a better product anyway.

  38. Good for you!

    I used to have a small chain of shoe stores many moons ago. Manufacturer’s pulled the same nonsense. Sorry – I’m there for giving my customer the best options I can provide. If the product is great then it can handle the competition!

    I appreciate your integrity. Best of the new year to you and yours!

  39. This post is malicious and one sided, there are always two sides to every story, you certainly have a right to your opinion but it would be better if you could express your opinions without making assumptions and false claims. I disagree with so many of the the things you have said in this post. Of course I am a CeCe retailer and that may make me biased but then a lot of the comments i’ve read above also come from a biased perspective. CeCe has her reasons and a right to make business decisions it would be absurd to think that everyone will agree when changes are made. I just want to wave the flag for those who don’t agree with some of the statements made here and there are many who don’t. Most are choosing to take the high road… I don’t wish to get into a battle with you, I enjoy sharing ideas with my fellow artists, artists by nature are opinionated and practically NEVER agree, but all this unnecessary drama and bashing is so sad. I wont be back to read anymore. BTW your glitter seems more like acid rain to me.
    Sincerely,
    Debi Beard

    • I would like to honestly know what Patty has said that is “malicious and one-sided” Debi Beard? Please elaborate so we can all see your position clearly? And what exactly are the “assumptions and FALSE claims” that Patty has made? Did CeCe Caldwell not demand that she could no longer sell any competitor’s paints? If that is what you are suggesting please state clearly the facts to back up this response.Ann at The Front Porch

    • It’s not malicious or one sided. Patty is a professional painter and teacher and she’s qualified to make this assessment. It’s okay to choose to continue to use ASCP or CeCe paint or not. And it’s okay to say why. Don’t be too much of a soldier for the machine, Debi. People trust you and watch your videos to learn about art, not just to buy paint. It undermines all the work you’ve done if you can’t be appreciative of other people’s tools too.

  40. I would drive far to take your classes. I have tried other paints and idea’s since I found your blog. You have opened my world and it is benefiting me. Because I don’t live close I have found someone 200 miles away that I can drive and take classes for Carmel Paints, would rather take your classes. But I need a weeks vacation and at least 2 classes a day. And yes I looked at your schedule if you change it I would still drive so I could take them! I also use CeCe paint. Will continue to do so but I hate the fact they make it so hard to get. Unless I order it and most of the time my retailer has to wait for her shipments. And I have to order it ahead of time, I walk into buy it and it’s sold out so I wait and wait. I love my retailer but it does make it harder if you need it. I hate this has happened to you. I also see nothing ugly in your comments just frustration and a dividing line. The forced it and dared you to cross it. With a combination of paint and classes it would benefit them and everyone. I wish my retailer had it easier also!

  41. Debi, yes, we are all entitled to our opinions, I certainly don’t think mine was filled with any maliciousness, drama or bashing. You should know me better than that, and if you don’t, then I know you at least know Shizzle – so is their leaving CeCe ALSO one sided and malicious?

  42. Hang tough Patty. Your post was right on and this is partly why I have almost pulled from doing anything in the faux world. What a shame for CeCe because they just lost a great marketer for them.
    Renee

  43. I was thinking of you, so I decided to tell you something that would make you laugh and CeCe Caldwell’s decision makers cry:
    I am working on my MBR cabinetry. Finally. 16′ 10″, floor-to-ceiling. Finally jumping in. I’m making some doors and drawers out of pallets, and painting some. Lots of visual interest:

    Pallet wood: Rubbed with Butcher’s Wax, lightly buffed with some Tudor Briwax. Some got a hit of my homemade weathered wax (Varathane Sunbleached, Johnson’s Past Wax, dried up Young Kansas Wheat and a bit of water, and some dried up ASCP Dark Wax. Emulsified with KleenStrips Low Oder Mineral Spirits. Excellent griege.) The door backs are conditioned with Howard’s Weed & Feed? Restore & Revive? Can’t remember. Oh – and Bosch biscuits and Elmer’s Wood Glue hold them together. The insides will be SW’s (formerly Duron’s) ‘Farm Fresh”.

    Painted cabinets: Cabinets from: Norcroft, Barker.com, TheCabinetJoint.com, H4H, Community Forklift, and the side of the eviction pile. The frames are painted with ASCP Coco, center panels, Young Kansas Wheat. Rubbed with Butcher’s Wax, then Behr’s Crackle, Minwax Polyacrylic (no yellowing!) , then rubbed with Briwax Dark Brown. The insides of the drawers will be BM Kasbah, cabinets BM Weimeriner.

    So…. A challenge! How many products and YOU fit into a single project. Take THAT, CeCe People! LOL!

    • Good thing is, no on will ever be able to dupe your finishes 😀. When you run out of that Young Kansas Wheat we’ll turn you on to 2 excellent colors – APC Rushmore, very same, and the new APC Ellis collection Sackcloth – same color just a little deeper – it’s fAB,

  44. Pingback: My Love Affair With American Paint Company – “The Mantel No. 2″ | Fabulously Finished

  45. Hi – just stumbled a crossed your blog & this is sad news to hear about CeCe Caldwell paint. I would love to attend one of the conferences you spoke about that you can learn about different paints, waxes, etc. Do you have any information you could send to me as to where I can find where I can attend?
    Thanks!!

  46. Wow! I am glad you took a stand!

  47. Thank you so much for your honesty in this post. I started using chalk paints a few months back, with CeCe Caldwell’s paint and waxing creams. After watching every tutorial I could find, reading and re-reading instructions on how to use the products, I liked the paints okay, but I just wasn’t getting good results with the creams. Using my nice new waxing brush, I could not seem to get the clear waxing cream to go on smoothly and it was really hard to work it into the paint. After each application attempt, the paint color always look streaked. And, the dark aging cream color is too light (in my opinion) and it would not get dry or buff out – it just looked and felt greasy, so I eventually ended up wiping all of it off. I have seen lots of people online who seem to have great success with these products, but as for me, I’ve ruined two projects trying to use them, and I just don’t think the learning curve of any product should be so difficult. I have since been using some of the American Paint Company’s products which have been much easier to use with beautiful results!
    Thanks again!

    • thanks for your feedback De – I never liked the waxing creme when it came out, originally didnt even stock it, and didnt have to because at that time they were still carrying the ‘Clear Wax’, which is American Paint Company’s all natural formula. THAT wax was the absolute best, and is one main reason why I chose to move on with American Paint – their Vintage Clear Wax IS still this fabulous wax, because, well it always was! Even better, their ‘dark’ version is simply the clear recipe darkened, nothing else added like oils that (like you said) DONT even dry completely or even buff the same. Im not sure if CeCe even HAS their original clear wax anymore – word was it was on the way out (which is why they introduced the waxing creme) because it was not easy for them to get – you’ll find all the CeCe folks RAVING about how wonderful and fabulous the waxing creme is – what else can they say when that is the only product they sell? Something that this ‘exclusivity’ always made me leary of….

  48. debra@ 5th and state

    oddly your blog was forwarded to me as there is a controversy in town about what a ce ce caldwell stockiest is doing with his business.
    have you ever looked at amy howard paints & finishes? i researched like mad for a line to carry with a ton of diversity and good colors. as a retailer that carries her line we are crazy about the line, does so well and offers a lot of options.
    by the way, you made a wise choice, good for you!
    debra

    • Hi Debra, gads, the drama never ends, it seems…. I’m with you – it’s really important to me what I’m representing and offering to the customers I reach… I have looked into the AH line, but ventured into other options that fit better for us – Happy Painting!

  49. I remember when this first happened and thought I would continue using CeCe paints. But as time has went in they have changed a lot of their formula’s. The retailers in my area also aren’t educated about using their paints or trouble shooting. So I changed. And I have also kept up with your blog. I can see the change in your finishes and they are stunning better than ever, and I can also see the changes I have been making because I try other paints and finishes. I would still take a weeks vacation to take classes from you anytime! And I love everything you do! Dedicated follower.

    • Oh, I appreciate you sharing that ❤ – there are so many of these paint companies that have popped up, and they follow the same template – sign on stores/retailers, sell a bunch of paint, grow too fast, then implode, leaving a mess behind. You said a key point – education and being able to serve your customers – it can't be about 'just selling a jar of paint' . No company will be perfect, but as retailers servicing customers that trust us, we should be offering our version of 'just perfect for this… just perfect for that…. etc' of course, I've always preached that it's the kiss of death to rely on one company line – unless your business isn't just about offering paints/finishes/how-to. good to hear you say you're venturing out to try different things – doesn't it make it more exciting? If you're ever in the Metro Detroit area, please give us a shout 🙂 🙂

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